Outlook Poor for Enactment of Individual Spending Bills before October
Due to multiple time constraints, Congress will have a difficult time passing any of the 12 annual spending bills for fiscal 2012 before Oct. 1.
After returning from their August recess, lawmakers are scheduled to be in session for only two weeks in September. As a result, both chambers likely will focus on passing a short-term, continuing resolution before the end of the fiscal year rather than individual, full-year spending bills, reported CQ Today.
Both parties have complained in the past about resorting to omnibus spending packages that combine multiple spending bills, but because the Senate already has fallen behind in moving FY 2012 spending legislation, Congress may not have a choice.
Both chambers have passed a military construction and veterans affairs spending bill, though, making it possible that a House-Senate agreement on the full-year bill could be the mechanism for moving a stopgap measure for the initial portion of FY 2012.
To date, the House has passed six spending bills, with a seventh on the floor. The Senate has passed only the milcon bill, reported CQ.